The role of video capsule endoscopy for evaluating obscure gastrointestinal bleeding: usefulness of early use
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We report our preliminary experience with the use of video capsule endoscopy (VCE) in 64 patients with obscure gastrointestinal bleeding (OGIB) and suspected small intestine disease.
To be eligible for VCE, patients had to have undergone upper endoscopy, small bowel series, and colonscopy without discovering any source of bleeding. To find the best timing to perform VCE, the patients were retrospectively divided in two groups of 32 cases each: group 1 with patients who had been submitted to VCE within 15 days from OGIB diagnosis, and group 2 with patients who had been submitted to VCE at least 15 days after OGIB diagnosis.
Lesions were found by VCE in 29 (91%) in group 1: angioectasia-like lesions of the small bowel in 12, some erosions of the ileum without signs of bleeding in 14, a polyp with erosions in 1, and a bleeding site where the surgery showed a tumor of the ileum in 2 patients. In 2 cases, VCE missed showing two small tumors that were revealed by laparoscopy in 1 case and by push enteroscopy in the other. In group 2, lesions were found by VCE in 11 (34%): angioectasia-like lesions of the small bowel in 6, some erosions in 3, a short segmental stenosis in 1, and two polyps in 1. In 1 case, VCE missed showing a small polyp in the jejunum that was revealed by push enteroscopy. In none of these cases was a bleeding site identified. VCE was well tolerated and able to acquire good images in patients with OGIB. It showed lesions in 91% of the patients in group 1 and 34% of cases in group 2.
Our data suggest that the optimal timing to perform VCE is within a few days after the occurrence of bleeding, possibly within 2 weeks.
Key wordsvideo capsule endoscopy obscure gastrointestinal bleeding endoscopic study of the small bowel
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